The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Friday, 25 August 1989

Getting Into It

‘Strange Land’ – Clannad

Having settled in, we are now quite happy with ourselves here at ‘FISH RESTAURANT’ (the name of our B & B, we’ve decided, because that’s what’s emblazoned across the front as, yes, you guessed it, it also houses a chippy with sit-in dining).

Upon awakening, the Windermere morning showed us the glorious light of a brand-new day.  Breakfast was gorgeous, too.  We ate heartily, and over our food, we agreed that the deal at this B & B is likely to be better than any other we might find, so we carried the motion that we’re staying in BownessFlash and Raquel also agreed that they didn’t like me being in a room on my own, so after some negotiating with Bill the landlord, we were moved into a three-person room.

Bill is an easy-going fellow, who reminds me of a cross between Leonard Rossiter and my third dad, George.  He’s very amiable, very humorous and he cooks all the food and does all the rooms and beds himself, which is nice to see but also amazing.  I don’t know why it’s nice to see, but it is.  Bill very kindly advised not to be so hard on Bowness and to take into account that it’s so busy and commercial because it’s the ‘capital’ of the Lakes.

I can finally see that Bowness is a mix of old world Cumbria and tourist commercialisation.  It is lovely, in its own way, just not what I’d been hoping for or expecting.  Its roads twist and climb and slope down to the bottom of the town, at which point one comes to the huge Lake Windermere (the largest lake in England) and across it one can see the hills of Ambleside and beyond it Coniston and the mountains.

‘Magical Ring’ – Clannad

Raquel asked Bill what the best walks were in the area and he suggested that if we wanted to get away from it all we should take a walk to (faraway) Coniston.  This sounded good to me.  I seem to remember that when I was a kid, the schools I went to used to organise walking and climbing holidays to places like Coniston, Askrigg and Marrick.  I’d only ever been to Marrick, but I’d heard good reports of the other places.

So, it was originally our intention to walk to Coniston, but this wasn’t, in the end, our final destination.  We walked only ‘half’ the distance, to Ambleside where we hoped to catch a bus to Coniston.  Once in Ambleside, we were unable to make any sense of the buses and we were all a bit tired after the non-stop 5 mile walk.  In typical style, we found a café and ate sandwiches.  Here, Flash discovered various forms of insect life in the lettuce of his salad sarnie and complained.

After a spot of book buying in new and second hand shops (I got some Ian Fleming Bond books), we discovered a spectacular river with a series of magnificent waterfalls on its course.  They were absolutely fantastic and we took some photos.  Raquel and I climbed along and jumped over the river rocks happily, though Flash was a little more dubious and tentative.

It’s good here.  Getting better.

Ritcherd xxx  


Tonight we went to The Royal Oak hotel in Bowness and drank lager for a long time.

We went to an Italian restaurant.

I had garlic bread, Olive + Salami Pizza, and Cheesecake.
Flash had garlic bread, Lasagne Verdi, and Cheesecake.
Raquel had garlic bread, Lasagne Verdi, and Coffee Ice Cream.

Ritcherd xxx

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Next time: ‘Coniston Old Man…’

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